Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma says he feels those who slam him for his controversial tweets, perhaps enjoy them the most.
Varma, known for movies like "Satya", "Company" and the "Sarkar" series, has faced the ire of feminists, activists and political parties for his controversial International Women's Day comments on actress Sunny Leone, a former adult entertainer.
His tweet -- "I wish all the women in the world give men as much happiness as Sunny Leone gives" -- triggered a storm of protests on Twitter.
The filmmaker, who later apologised to those "who genuinely got offended and not to those who ranted for publicity", has opened up about the incident and about his upcoming film "Sarkar 3".
Excerpts from his interview:
Q. Your tweets seem to be offending a lot more people than they should?
I think those who show they are angry and offended by my tweets, enjoy them the most. I remember once after I was threatened and warned for my tweets... A cop called me. I thought he was going to arrest me. Instead, he said he was falling off his chair with laughter.
Q. How has 'Sarkar 3' shaped up. Tell us about what we may expect in it?
I think it shaped up much more intense than the earlier two films, mainly because it has a larger scale and the negative characters are much more stronger. You can expect to see a lot of anger in Amitabh Bachchan and that obviously comes due to some highly dramatic situations.
Q. What was it like working with Mr Bachchan again? What differences did you see in him now as an actor and a human being?
The main difference I saw in him now after working in so many films is that I suddenly see an additional spurt of intensity in him. That's not to say he wasn't intense before, but there's a never before seen condensation of energy just waiting to be unleashed.
Q. How does the story go forward now? Have you ensured that the franchise doesn't look forced?
Like there was no connection between 'Sarkar' and 'Sarkar Raj', here too, 'Sarkar 3' works as an independent story. It also deals with very complex relationship aspects which were previously untouched upon.
Q. Recently, lots of films have been embroiled in controversies. Do you think it's becoming harder for filmmakers to attempt real-life stories and characters? Even 'Sarkar' is said to be based on Mr Bal Thackeray. Where do you stand on this?
Controversies mostly are blown up by the media much more than what they actually are. But of course, it's again case to case. 'Sarkar' is absolutely not based upon Bal Thackeray, but it is definitely inspired from him. If a man like Bala saheb can exist, 'Sarkar' also can exist.
Q. What are your future plans? Do you intend to divide your time between Hindi and Telugu cinema?
No. since I came back after taking a break, I am now going to do only Hindi films.